A teenager who died during a hockey match took too many prescription painkillers so she could take part in the game she loved, an inquest heard.
Holly Monk was just 18 when she collapsed at Middlesbrough’s Southlands Centre on November 20 last year.
Before falling unconscious she told paramedics she had taken an overdose of prescription medication but had not intended to take her own life.
Despite medics attempts to save her, the popular teenager died later that evening at the James Cook University Hospital.
An inquest into her tragic death heard she suffered chronic pain and had been diagnosed with Raynaud’s disease, which affects the circulation of blood around the body.
Holly Monk tragically died after taking too many prescription painkillers in a bid to play hockey
Her parents told the inquest they believed their daughter died in an attempt to manage her pain and feel well enough to take to the hockey pitch.
Father Andrew Monk said his daughter had ‘suffered in silence’ for a considerable amount of time and battled to maintain a full and active lifestyle despite her health problems.
In a statement read at Teesside Coroner’s Court, Mr Monk said his daughter had a close-knit circle of friends and a ‘kind and gentle’ boyfriend.
He said that the uncertainties relating to Holly’s death were hanging over his family and prolonging their grieving.
At the time of her death, Holly was studying at East Durham College in the hope of going to university. She played and coached at Norton Hockey Club and was a member of the Ullswater Yacht Club.
Mr Monk suggested she may have had undiagnosed Lyme Disease, which could have caused her pain. She had not been tested for the condition and it was now impossible to tell if she had it, the inquest heard.
Holly collapsed at this Middlesbrough sports centre where hockey match was being played
The coroner was told Holly was ‘shaky’ on arrival at the leisure centre on the day she died, and collapsing in a spectator area next to a hockey pitch.
The National Poisons Information Service and other toxicology experts around Britain were contacted as doctors in hospital tried to counteract the effect of the drugs.
Senior coroner Clare Bailey concluded that Holly had died as a result of misadventure.
The coroner concluded: ‘We have heard the information she gave to the paramedic is that she had not intended to take her own life and the police are satisfied that she took the medication to try and treat pain so that she could play the hockey that she loved playing.
‘There was no reason for her to take her life, she was in a very good place, taking a course, enjoying sport and in a loving relationship.
‘In the circumstances, I accept that Holly died not intending to take her life and my conclusion, based on the balance of probabilities, is that she died as a result of misadventure. She intended to take the medication but not the tragic consequences.’
Medics at the James Cook hospital rang drugs experts in a bid to save her life